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New Zealand clothing company Icebreaker opened its first Midwest store last Wednesday. In a prime Mag-Mile spot, the shop has a design inspired by sheep stations (or, ranches) in New Zealand. And for good reason: the merchandise is made with merino wool from the fuzzy creatures that populate the country's Southern Alps. And through the cutely named "Baacode" program, shoppers can even trace their garment back to its sheep station of origin.
Known as the company that pioneered merino wool for the outdoors, Icebreaker "was founded to give active people a natural alternative to synthetics," said founder Jeremy Moon. At a press conference this morning, Moon said that the apparel—which includes everything from fitness gear to socks—is machine washable but feels like cashmere. He also pointed out that the wool has antimicrobial properties that keep it from retaining odor. So, it's suited well to travel (and, if it floats your boat, being worn for days on end.)
The pieces are also thin enough to be layered, and store staffers can give you the lowdown on how to best bundle up for running, heading to yoga, or other wintertime activities. You know how they say never go grocery shopping hungry? You may want to avoid this place on a blustery Chicago day, or you're in danger of walking out with everything in sight—which, come to think of it, may not be a baaaad thing.
· Icebreaker [Official Site]
· Icebreaker Touchlab Likely Opening on Walton This Year [Racked Chicago]